The front page of yesterday's NY Times featured an article entitled "Putting Money on Lawsuits, Investors Share in the Payouts". This article is the first in a series entitled "Betting on Justice." The article shines daylight on a practice know well in the profession but far outside of the experience and contemplation of undergraduate law students. The article traces the history, law, philosophy and practices of banks and hedge funds getting involved in financing lawsuits. There are both success and horror stories. Many of my students tend to be fairly politically conservative finance and accounting majors. This article may show them a different face of lawsuits - as an investment vehicle for profit-making. This article strikes me as one that could generate some active class discussion or drive an effective online discussion thread.
Of course, nothing gets a discussion going like a video. Below is a video from a company that provides funding for lawsuits. (Self Serving Disclaimer: I do not endorse or promote this company or its practices. I just find the videos and post them here for you to use in class if you think they are helpful to promote discussion or thoughtful consideration.) Further below is a video from a company that loans money directly to clients while their lawsuits are pending. There are so many of these videos available on line, that is was hard to choose a representative. If you want to explore them yourself, search "lawsuit funding" at youtube.
Case Expense Funding:
Cash For Clients:
In my opinion, the following video is crass and tasteless. The person who uploaded it to the internet labelled it as "funny." Maybe students will think it is funny - I don't know. It is certainly provocative, if that is what you need for your class.